Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, during the presentation of the 2023 Union budget on Wednesday, said it would increase domestic value addition in mobile phone production, cut customs on imports of specific components and inputs such as camera lenses, while reducing concession duties on lithium ion cells for batteries for another year.
This announcement, along with the decision to build 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services, was particularly welcomed by the online gaming industry. Industry insiders believe that these initiatives, as well as the removal of the Rs 10,000 minimum threshold for TDS on online gaming, will boost industry growth like never before.
“As a result of various government initiatives including the phased production program, mobile phone production in India has increased from 5.8 crore units worth about Rs 18,900 crore in 2014-15 to 31 crore units worth about Rs 18,900 crore in 2014-15. worth more than Rs 2,75,000 crore in the past financial year,” said Sitharaman during her budget speech.
As the world looks for alternatives to reduce its dependence on China, which has dominated the electronics sector for many years, with the support of the Center’s stimulus policies, various stimulus programs and a determination to create a competitive environment for the industry India is the second largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world.
The game world
Rohit N Jagasia, founder and CEO of Revenant Esports, shared News18 that while the budget announcement did not specifically raise concerns related to the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comics (AVGC) or esports segment, the said decisions will have a positive impact on the industry.
“The increased production of mobile phones will have a direct impact on the growing interest in mobile gaming. India is a growing market for mobile gamers, which will shape the Indian esports sector. Affordable mobile devices and the increasing accessibility of gaming platforms have also contributed to the growing popularity of esports in India and are expected to further drive the industry’s growth in the coming years,” said Jagasia.
On announcing the removal of the minimum threshold for TDS on online gaming and providing clarity on taxability, Jagasia said it was a big step forward. However, he noted that “most esports games, like ours, don’t have a system to withdraw funds, so these apply to the online gaming sectors that deal with real money gaming”.
FanClash co-founder Rishabh Bhansali said that the expansion of the gaming business in India is a reflection of and contributing to the growth of the mobile phone industry. “From launching gaming-specific devices like One Plus Nord, ASUS ROG gaming phones, to hosting multiple tournaments for the community, to working with gamers to building a community of mobile gamers, mobile device giants like One Plus, ASUS, Samsung, are also investing heavily in the gaming industry in India,” he said.
The expert said that gaming in India has the potential to boost the electronics industry as a whole, including consoles, PCs, VR gadgets, mobile devices, wearables and IT accessories.
Lokesh Suji, director of the Esports Federation of India and vice president of the Asian Esports Federation (AESF), said the mobile phone manufacturing in the country has been a breakthrough for this sector.
“With continued scaling and 5G as a catalyst fueling the industry boom, we will witness tremendous growth within the Esports sector in the coming years,” he added.
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